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Trump news - live: Lawyer told DoJ all classified material at Mar-a-Lago had been returned, report says

Rolling coverage of the latest developments following the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago

Trump lawyer does not ‘believe’ that secret nuclear documents found at Mar-a-Lago

In June, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump told the Department of Justice (DOJ) that all classified material at Mar-a-Lago had been returned.

At least one member of Mr Trump’s legal team signed a written statement earlier this summer stating that all of the materials marked as classified which were stored in boxes at Mr Trump’s private Florida club and home had been handed over to the government, according to four individuals who spoke to The New York Times.

The new defence coming out of Donald Trump’s office in response to the raid on his home is that the documents found at Mar-a-Lago had already been declassified.

A statement defending the keeping of the documents at the former president’s private club was shared on Fox News on Friday by right-wing writer John Solomon.

“As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents including classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence,” the statement said.

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Trump lawyer told DoJ all classified material at Mar-a-Lago had been returned in June, report says

A lawyer for former President Donald Trump reportedly told the Department of Justice that all classified material at Mar-a-Lago had been returned in June.

At least one member of Mr Trump’s legal team signed a written statement earlier this summer stating that all of the materials marked as classified which were stored in boxes at Mr Trump’s private Florida club and home had been handed over to the government, according to four individuals who spoke to The New York Times.

Jay Bratt, a counterintelligence official at the national security division within DOJ, visited the Florida estate on 3 June, after which the written declaration was made.

The declaration suggests that Mr Trump and his attorneys have not been fully sincere in their dealings with federal authorities, The Times noted. The paper added that it could explain why a charge of obstruction was cited by DOJ when seeking the warrant.

Monday’s FBI raid came after months of discussions between the authorities and Mr Trump and his aides.

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Trump search: Here’s what the FBI seized from ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago home

There was an order pardoning his friend Roger Stone, and 11 boxes of classified documents. There was a box bound in “leather”, and information about the “president of France”.

There were “miscellaneous secret documents”, and a binder of photos.

These were among the items taken by the FBI when agents searched Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, according to the search warrant released by a judge on Friday.

The former president – referred to as FPOTUS in the documents – claimed all the documents had been declassified.

But it was unclear whether he retains that power once he leaves office, or if the documents had in any way been formally declassified. It is understood agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three more sets of confidential documents.

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Harris blasts attacks on law enforcement following Trump raid

Vice President Harris blasted attacks on law enforcement following the Mar-a-Lago raid.

“I will say, as a former prosecutor, but as a citizen of our nation, any attacks on law enforcement are completely unacceptable,” Ms Harris told the press on Air Force Two on Friday.

“And any so-called leader who engages in rhetoric that in any way suggests that law enforcement should be exposed to that kind of danger is irresponsible and can result in dangerous activities,” she added.

“It’s just highly irresponsible of anyone who calls themselves a leader and certainly anyone who represents the United States of America to engage in rhetoric for the sake of some political objective that can result in harm to law enforcement officers and agents,” she said.

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Russia media mocks US over top secret documents sought in Mar-a-Lago raid

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What is the Espionage Act that Trump is being investigated under?

What do the transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning, the 1950s Soviet spy Julius Rosenberg, and former president Donald Trump all have in common?

The answer, according to a now-public search warrant for the FBI’s extraordinary raid on Mr Trump’s Florida home of Mar-a-Lago on Monday, is that all four have been investigated under suspicion of violating the Espionage Act of 1917.

Paperwork unsealed by a federal judge on Friday says the FBI were looking for items that might violate the Act, which regulates the handling of confidential documents relating to national security.

Most often used against spies, whistleblowers, and government employees who leak documents to journalists, the Espionage Act carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

So what exactly is Mr Trump being investigated for?

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Caught up in legal trouble, Trump speaks to allies about 757 plane in possible nod to 2024

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New defence from Trump team: Documents were already declassified

The new defence coming out of Mr Trump’s office is that the documents had already been declassified.

Some of the documents were marked “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

A statement defending the keeping of the documents at the former president’s private club was shared on Fox News on Friday by right-wing writer John Solomon.

“As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents including classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence,” the statement said. “He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified.”

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Former president reaches out to attorney general to say country is “on fire” over Florida estate raid

Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Thursday that he had approved the search at Mar-a-Lago, and he implied that DOJ wouldn’t have done so without attempting less intrusive actions first.

Just ahead of Mr Garland’s statement, an individual in Mr Trump’s inner circle contacted a DOJ official to send a message from Mr Trump to Mr Garland.

The former president wanted the attorney general to be aware that he had been speaking to people around the US and that they were furious about the raid.

“The country is on fire,” Mr Trump is quoted as saying, according to an individual with knowledge of the message, The New York Times reported. “What can I do to reduce the heat?”

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Conspiracies complicate voting machine debate in Louisiana

The need for Louisiana to replace its voting machines is not in dispute.

They are badly outdated — deployed in 2006, the year after Hurricane Katrina struck -- and do not produce paper ballots that are critical to ensuring election results are accurate.

What to do about them is another story.

The long-running drama includes previous allegations of bid-rigging, voting machine companies claiming favoritism and a secretary of state who is noncommittal about having a new system in place for the 2024 presidential election.

Local election clerks also worry about the influence of conspiracy theorists who have peddled unfounded claims about voting equipment and have been welcomed into the debate over new machines.

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Sinema took Wall Street money while killing tax on investors

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat who single-handedly thwarted her party’s longtime goal of raising taxes on wealthy investors, received nearly $1 million over the past year from private equity professionals, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists whose taxes would have increased under the plan.

For years, Democrats have promised to raise taxes on such investors, who pay a significantly lower rate on their earnings than ordinary workers. But just as they closed in on that goal last week, Sinema forced a series of changes to her party’s $740 billion election-year spending package, eliminating a proposed “carried interest” tax increase on private equity earnings while securing a $35 billion exemption that will spare much of the industry from a separate tax increase other huge corporations now have to pay.

The bill, with Sinema’s alterations intact, was given final approval by Congress on Friday and is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden this coming week.

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